[Portrait of Sir Rajendra Singh, Maharaja of Patiala.]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Sir Rajendra Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala, taken by an unknown photographer in c.1898. This full-length portrait shows the Maharaja seated on a gilded throne with his right leg raised on a footstool and holding a sword. He wears royal regalia including a cloak and a chain of office. The arms of the throne are designed in the form of lions, and it is set against a painted studio backdrop. The Maharaja (1872-1900) ruled the princely state of Patiala in Punjab from 1876 until his death. Under the rule of the British Empire, Patiala was the most important of the Sikh states; Rajendra Singh was created a Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India in 1898 and entitled to a personal salute of 17 guns. A Sikh, he was a member of the Phulkian Dynasty descended from the Sidhu Jats. Families of the dynasty, believed to have a common ancestor named Phul, ruled Patiala, Jind, Nabha, Bahadur and other Punjab states. Patiala was one of three states collectively known as the Phulkian States, the others being Jind and Nabha. The image is one of several prints recording the visit of Lord Elgin to Nabha and Patiala, in an album mainly devoted to his Burma tour of November to December 1898. Victor Alexander Bruce (1849-1917), ninth Earl of Elgin and 13th Earl of Kincardine, served as Viceroy of India between 1894 and 1899.